The Eagles are just one day away from their final regular season showdown…and it’s against their most bitter rival. We not sit at 26/70 on bold predictions this year, after accurately predicting an interception from Ronald Darby. Can we end the year on a high? Here are our five predictions for the final regular season game of the year.
Small world, big game:
The Eagles will be wanting to rest as many starters as possible on Sunday and the backfield is no exception. Ajayi has received 12+ carries in each of his last three games and the Birds will want to ensure they preserve the rubber left on the tires of LeGarrette Blount. This theoretically opens the door for second-year running back, Wendell Smallwood.
Smallwood was somewhat lost in the noise after a promising offseason that saw him adopt a new, aggressive style of running. With so much talent in the group, Smallwood may finally have a chance to see some extended playing time. With this in mind, my first prediction is for Smallwood to score his second touchdown of the year and total 70 yards of rushing, at least making a point that he can still be a valuable offensive asset.
With Brandon Graham out for week 17, Barnett has a real opportunity to shine with some extra snaps being thrown his way. The rookie has been outstanding all season and despite a drop in playing time over the last few weeks, he has a real opportunity to shine once again. Barnett has the most sacks by an Eagles rookie since Fletcher Cox in 2012 and against a Dallas team that’s playing for nothing but pride and rivalry gloating rights, my second prediction Is for Barnett to rack up a season high 3 sacks.
Calling Dr Jones:
The Eagles placed Joe Walker on IR yesterday, sparking plenty of Sidney Jones related speculation. One day later, the Eagles activates their prized rookie cornerback for a taste of the NFL. It’s not yet clear just how much action he will see. However with Mills questionable and the team wanting to rest starters, it may be substantial enough to make an impact.
I’m predicting Jones to intercept a pass in his first ever NFL game, turning heads and making a very firm first impression. Sidney Jones is the future of the Eagles secondary.
Nate the great:
The Eagles face a very interesting conundrum at quarterback. One week removed from a disastrous Nick Roles performance, it’s clear there are some kinks that need working through. The question is, will Doug Pederson rank chemistry above a ‘plan B’?
Foles is a six-year starter with 21 wins under his belt. If the Eagles pull away to a big lead, expect the arrival of former Redskins project quarterback, Nate Sudfeld. Sudfeld is yet to play a regular season NFL game, but my fourth bold prediction is for Sudfeld to show his knowledge and comfort in the system, guiding the Eagles to a win and throwing for over 100 yards and his first NFL touchdown.
It’s week 17. The Eagles don’t have anything of consequence to play for, but there is pride in the NFL’s most heated rivalry. Just because it’s week 17, do not expect the Eagles to take this lightly. My final bold prediction is for the Birds to ice off their season with a huge win over a demoralized and distracted Cowboys team, blowing them out by a 20+ point deficit.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports